Finding and reporting noxious weeds
Emilie Justen - Minnesota Department of Agriculture
As preparations begin for this year’s growing season, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) encourages people to learn about, look for and report Minnesota’s noxious weeds.
The MDA, as the regulatory agency for managing noxious weeds, helps local governments with weed management and enforcement of the Minnesota Noxious Weed Law.
A noxious weed is defined by the Minnesota Noxious Weed Law as an annual, biennial or perennial plant that the commissioner of agriculture designates to be injurious to public health, the environment, public roads, crops, livestock or other property.
Noxious weeds are categorized into four lists: prohibited eradicate, prohibited control, restricted and specially regulated. The worst of the weeds are on the prohibited eradicate list. The law requires weeds on this list to have all above and below ground plant parts destroyed.
There are several ways to report a noxious weed on the eradicate list to the MDA.
● A landowner can contact their county agriculture inspector to verify the presence of a noxious weed.
● The noxious weed can be reported to the Arrest the Pest voicemail at 1-888-545-6684 or e-mail Arrest.The.Pest@state.mn.us.
● Noxious weeds can also be reported to the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System at www.eddmaps.org. Location information is necessary for reporting.
April’s weed of the month is meadow knapweed, a prohibited eradicate weed. According to MDA, meadow knapweed can overtake other plants in pastures, hayfields, meadows, riparian areas, forest margins and rights-of-way. This can result in reduced forage, wildlife habitat and species diversity.
MDA describes meadow knapweed as a perennial plant that has multiple upright, reddish stems that are 20-40 inches tall. Single flowers, mostly pink/purple but occasionally white, are at the ends of branches.
For more information, visit www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/badplants/noxiouslist.aspx.